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Subject: Re: Todays R&J and random thoughts about HD
From: Francis Immler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Francis Immler <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 23 Jan 2017 03:57:25 -0500

text/plain (151 lines)

Haven't been contributing for some time, but I feel I need to because
commenters so far have focused on the title characters.
There was an EXTRAORDINARY performance today that for me makes this one
memorable: the Mercutio.

I was unable to take my eyes off Elliot Malore from his entrance, and his
juicy young voice was so well used throughout.

Re the former: yes he is drop-dead gorgeous, but more important were his
immediate and continuing eye- and facial- interactions with his colleagues
that drove the drama on from the start. He worked remarkably well with
Grigolo, I thought, treating him as an equal (as friends would) and not
deferring to His Illustriousness (Grigolo). I saw no attempt to upstage
Romeo, but that would not be in Mercutio's character. He simply EMBODIED
Mercutio, bombing all around the stage, while Romeo was whining. THIS made
the HD a memorable performance for me. (Not that Damrau and Grigolo weren't
good: they certainly were, but we know what they're all about, and we are
lucky to have them in searing form for as long as we can, and for me they
were today).

But then there was the astounding duel with Tybalt. Malore was all over the
stage, whirling, cavorting in a way few opera singers EVER have done in my
experience, and so naturally. Maybe it helps that we was a hockey player
when he was a youngster in Toronto.

His voice was also luscious and never strained, just clean and natural and
pure. I see that he is scheduled for Pelleas in Cleveland and Sydney later
this year. I know some don't get Pelleas et Melisande, but if anyone is
close-by to either place, don't hesitate to hear and see this glorious
young man in his prime. His BA and MA in Opera at Curtis and his time with
The MET's Lindemann program has clearly been well spent. This is a major


ps: My comments come from seeing R&J Live in HD in Hamilton NJ. I DO know
that the in-house experience is very different. We scheduled 8 in-house
performances that we really wanted to see live, for one reason or another.
We are glad we did this one in HD, and we had no problems with Damrau AT
ALL. We are also doing Rosenkavalier Live in HD, JUST to see Garanca, whom
we love..

On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 10:08 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]>

> What a great reflection on today's performance, Ron! This definitely gives
> me the reason to seek it out on demand (when it becomes available) since
> I'll also have to miss the encore. And Idia may well be right that it may
> have been distorted over the airwaves...
> BTW, no need to feel guilty for loving this music - welcome to the club!
> :-)
> Best, Vesna
> On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 9:46 PM, Ron Magnuson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > I viewed the HD transmission today and evidently enjoyed it more that Bob
> > or Vesna, which gives me pause as I treasure the opinions of both. I
> agree,
> > however, that It was not a Gallic performance.  Vittorio Grigolo’s take
> on
> > the role is definitely Italianate.  Having said that, I thought that he
> > sang well, better than I have ever heard him, and gave a committed, fully
> > invested performance.  He has grown impressively from his early
> > performances.  Diana Damrau sang with more elegance and nuance with a
> voice
> > that has lost some youthful sheen but still has a large pallet of colors
> at
> > her disposal which she employs with intelligence and musicality. Bartlett
> > Sher said that she moves as well as anyone on the stage today and I can
> not
> > disagree with that.  She is a convincing actress.  The look on her face
> the
> > first time she saw Romeo was priceless.
> > Their voices blended seamlessly in the duets, each shading the dynamics
> to
> > compliment their partner.  Ange Adorable evoked that magic moment of
> first
> > love, restrained, as it is their first meeting, yet lovely in it’s
> > simplicity.
> > In Ah! Lève toi soleil, Grigolo played nicely against the chromatically
> > descending harmonies reflecting the fading stars and then carefully
> > developed the air climaxing on a gleaming High B flat.
> > The nocturne that opens what is really Act 11, softly and delicately
> > evoked the stillness of night.  Gounod is at his best in these charming,
> > gossamer melodies and Noseda shaped it perfectly.
> > Leading off the scene in Juliette’s chamber, the ritornello from the
> > prologue with four cellos was a lovely evocation of their wedding night
> and
> > the touch of mystery and tension born of thwarted happiness.  I
> succumbed,
> > as I usually do to the mystery and throbbing sadness of this moment.
> > Nuit d’hyménée that paired the lovers, now in parallel thirds as they
> have
> > become one, featured their ability to sing as one.
> > I found the scene with Frere Laurence entreating Juliette to drink his
> > potion, wonderfully underlined by the creeping upward movement of the
> > triplets to create an atmosphere of mystery, of dread.  The serenity of
> the
> > “potion” theme provided a stark contrast to the dangerous and foolish
> > advice that he was giving.
> > The two reunited in their final duet, both singing with the passion that
> > doomed them from the beginning and that drew me into their tragedy.
> > Most of the people in the crowded room were applauding vigorously at the
> > curtain calls.
> > This music must be a guilty pleasure for me.  I know that I am not
> > supposed to enjoy it, cynical as I am reputed to be, but, alas, I find it
> > irresistible. It was not a performance for the ages, but for me, it was a
> > fine performance for this day.
> >
> > Ron Magnuson
> >
> > On Jan 21, 2017, at 7:13 PM, Vesna Danilovic <[log in to unmask]
> > <[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
> >
> > I couldn't watch or listen to the broadcast today and alas will not be
> able
> > to watch the encore either. I did listen to the prima and had similar
> > impressions as Bob had today.
> >
> >
> >
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